Selecting a family law attorney for your divorce case can be a pivotal decision that can significantly impact the outcome of your legal proceedings. Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process, and having the guidance of a skilled and experienced family law lawyer can make a difference.
When selecting a family law attorney, you can weigh several factors. Your choice will influence everything from child custody arrangements to property division and financial settlements. Considering your needs and the attorney's experience, communication style, and approach, you can make an informed decision tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.
At Claery & Hammond, LLP in Los Angeles, we understand the importance of this decision. We invite you to contact us for a consultation to discuss your divorce case. You can reach us at (310) 817-6904 or use our convenient online form.
Assessing Your Needs
Understanding your specific needs and objectives for your divorce case is critical in choosing an attorney. You want to find a lawyer whose approach aligns with your goals. To do that, you must first understand what you hope to achieve.
Here are some aspects to consider:
- Child custody: Determining custody is likely a primary concern if you have children. You must consider whether you seek sole or joint custody and how you envision the parenting schedule. The child's best interests are always paramount in court decisions, and your attorney can help you demonstrate your commitment to your child's wellbeing.
- Property division: California is a community property state, which means marital property is generally split equally in a divorce. However, determining marital property versus separate property can be complex. You'll need a strong advocate to pursue a fair division.
- Spousal support: If there is a large discrepancy in income or if one spouse has been out of the workforce, spousal support may be a consideration. Factors such as the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, and each spouse's earning capacity will come into play.
- Child support: If one parent has primary custody, the other must provide financial support. Calculating child support can be complex, and using the correct income figures is essential.
Every divorce case is unique and brings its own set of challenges. You want to look for a lawyer who understands that.
Research Potential Attorneys
Identifying potential family law attorneys can be overwhelming, but several resources are available to streamline this process.
Here are some strategies to identify potential lawyers for your case:
- Personal referrals: Reach out to your personal and professional network. If someone you trust went through a divorce and was satisfied with their attorney, this could be a valuable lead.
- Online directories: Search engines and online directories such as Avvo, Lawyers.com, and Martindale are practical tools to find attorneys in your area. These platforms often feature detailed profiles, client reviews, and peer endorsements.
- Local Bar Association: Your local bar association will likely have a referral service that can recommend attorneys practicing family law.
After identifying a list of potential attorneys, you should evaluate them based on their experience, skills, and whether they match your specific needs.
Importance of Consultations and Interviews
During the consultation, come prepared with a list of questions to help you make an informed decision.
Below are some key questions you might consider asking:
- Experience: Ask about their experience in handling similar divorce cases. For instance, if child custody is a crucial factor in your case, you should ask about their experience handling custody cases.
- Case strategy and approach: Every attorney has a different style and approach when handling divorce cases. Some may advocate for mediation and settlement, while others may be more aggressive and readily gear up for a court battle.
- Availability and communication: Ask about the lawyer’s policy regarding client communication. How quickly can you expect a response to your queries? Would you be dealing directly with the attorney or their paralegal?
- Fees and billing: Clear any doubts about their fees and billing procedure. Ask if you would be billed for every phone call or email.
An effective attorney-client relationship is built on clear communication, trust, and transparency. You must feel comfortable with the lawyer you choose to represent you.
Making the Final Decision
After thoroughly researching potential attorneys, evaluating their experience, assessing their communication and compatibility, and understanding their proposed case strategy, it's time to make your final decision. Choose an attorney who aligns with your specific needs, comforts you during this stressful period, communicates transparently, and has a strategic approach that aligns with your objectives.
Choosing the right attorney can significantly impact the course and outcome of your divorce case. Therefore, take your time and make an informed decision.
To learn more about our services at Claery & Hammond, LLP, schedule a consultation with a member of our Los Angeles team today by calling us at (310) 817-6904 or contacting us online.